STAGS FANS WELL BEATEN BUT NOT DOWN IN HEART
Bury IFC 11 v Mansfield Town (FTYBR FC) 2
(Mansfield Goals – Dave Cross x 2)
19 Feb 2004
Report by Steve Hartshorn
The 2nd game of a new era for FTYBR FC will live long in the memory, if not for the result, but for the overall performance from the players proudly wearing the colours of Mansfield Town.
FTYBR FC has entered the IFA, the Internet football association and came up against a Bury side that had played 7 and won 7 of their previous league games. So much are Bury a side of note, they had enough players for two teams! So, since our Mansfield lads were short of a goalkeeper, we quickly signing a loan deal to bring in a local lad, who said he was a goalie, looked like a goalie and stood over 6 feet tall. The trouble was that he wasn't. A makeshift back five formation was exposed as the loanie failed to inspire and flapped at the first five conceded goals.
Was he a homer, or just of doubted ability? Whatever we had the strange situation of the Bury keeper leaving his end of the field and coming into our net and the loanie marched over to the Bury net to keep goal for the side he had been playing for anyway.
This along with a shake up in formation where Mansfield went to a 4-4-2 gave heart and The Stags side began to play a bit of confident football.
Without making excuses Bury are a very good side, a side not unlike FTYBR from a few years ago and they were worthy of their lead.
At 7-0 down, Dave Cross finished from close range and the battling lads from Mansfield were back in the game!
The 2nd half proved a different story from the 1st as every player wearing Mansfield colours did themselves and their manager proud. Never at anytime during either half did any players' head drop or at anytime did any argue, but in the 2nd half the difference was that they all got stuck in and displayed a never say die attitude that even won over the watching home crowd.
Dave Cross scored the best goal of the day, a 25-yard net buster that flew into the top corner of the net, (although later he claimed it was from at least 40 yards!) and numerous chances were created. The loanie Bury goalkeeper all of a sudden discovering a talent for his so-called trade, saving three almost certain goal-bound efforts, one of note from Jamie Wheatcroft. (How come when he was playing for us he never made any saves like that?)
Two conceded penalties, one of which was the last kick of the game meant an 11-2 defeat but overall the day was a success. FTYBR FC, containing many players who had never played together before, displayed enough fight and heart to suggest that the future will be bright and that the side will grow.
Line up and report.
1. Bury loaned goalkeeper - Looked like a keeper, but didn't play like one until he changed ends and played for his own side. The replacement was a top lad and inspired confidence.
2. Nick – Need to get his 2nd name, arrived in the car with Dave Cross and is only 15 years of age but played beyond his years and did well.
3. Phil Waddington – Had to play in an unfamiliar role of left back, did okay but found the going a little tough.
4. Andrew Stokes – Started the game at centre back for the first time, put in some decent challenges but really excelled in the later part of the 1st half and the 2nd playing in the centre of midfield. Showed a nice touch and confidant passing and got stuck in.
5. Matt Genever – Again playing at centre half for the first time, and bar from one mistake did well and displayed a never say die attitude that inspired the player around him.
6. Wayne Sharpe – Rock steady centre half and team Captain who rolled up his sleeves and tried to hold things together. Never let his players' heads drop.
7. Jamie Wheatcroft – Never gave up running and closing down, good touch on the ball and was unlucky to see a well struck goal-bound effort well saved.
8. Michael Scothron – Talented a speedy performance that shows great promise for the future, battles well and is what a side needs. Never let his head drop at anytime.
9. Ian Hoult – Experienced striker who led the line well and was twice unlucky not to add to his FTYBR FC impressive goals tally.
10. Rob Wheldon – Battled well in midfield and supported the front line well during the 1st half, in the 2nd moved up front and linked up well with Hoult, never let his head drop and encouraged his team throughout.
11. Dave Cross – Had a fine game capped by two well-taken goals. Played well in the centre of midfield and again, never let his head drop.
Manager – Steve Hartshorn – Was proud of his players throughout. Had a difficult job to pick a starting line up with only one natural defender. Changed the formation after realising that the team were a little confused being asked to play 5-4-1. Is in managerial contract talks with himself, who is the chairman about his duties and talent!
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